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Talon: The War for Freljord – 18

25 Jul

The cry from overhead was piercing. The entire battle stopped for a moment to see what was making that sound, and Talon was dismayed to see a cryophoenix and a minotaur dropping down from the sky. He knew then that he would be needing the reinforcements he had prepared to come in earlier. He looked back at the ursine chieftain he had been dueling with and determined he couldn’t take too much more. Even though he had stabbed the bear well in the back by Talon’s knife, and had taken a shot to the gut from a spear, the ursine seemed unruffled.

Talon quickly began to run at the bear, who looked surprised for a moment by his boldness. The chieftain ran to meet him but just as Talon ducked within range, he dove sideways and rolled out of sight, hidden by a mass of bodies. He quickly got to his feet, ducked between the groups fighting each other and navigated the battlefield quickly. He wanted to get back to the castle and unleash his minotaur allies he had waiting in reserve.

His plan had been highly dependent on the invading army being weakened by his trap at the canyon mouth. Talon was furious with himself for underestimating his opponents, for they had sent another detachment to invade from the canyon walls. It was basic strategy, and he knew he was smarter than that, but allowed his species’ bias to get in the way. It was a mistake he would not make again.

As he dove through the battle, stabbing any ursine and yeti he could see, he spared a glance backwards to see what he could gather. The ursine looked to be in trouble, for there was only half of their original contingent left, surrounded by several thousand Noxian soldiers. Talon was alarmed to see that the death toll would be much higher than he had been hoping, but knew eliminating the threat from Freljord would be well worth it in the long run.

The minotaur and the cryophoenix were both over fighting with the group of yetis on the west wall, and there was a great commotion from his soldiers as a small ice storm seemed to appear on top of them. As they cowered slightly, trying not to be struck by ice shards, the yeti would come in and rip them apart. Talon knew they were in trouble and sprinted the distance to the castle, ignoring the fight around him. He smashed through the oak doors quickly and yelled for the minotaur chieftain to get down here.

The minotaur leader came running down the stairs with Draven. The two quickly saluted to Talon who wasted no time before saying, “We need your contingent to go in. The ursine and the yeti are putting up a better fight than we would have hoped.” Draven spoke up, signifying that the minotaur leader was already deferring to him. “Of course sir. We’ll show them a spectacle like they’ve never seen before.” He grinned maniacally and Talon knew the bloodthirsty executioner would get the job done.

Talon quickly ran up the stairs to the same balcony he had addressed his people from earlier in the day. He wanted to get a bird’s eye view of what was happening on the battlefield below, as well as be ready to address everyone when the time came. Just as he reached the balcony, he heard a yell and looked down below. The minotaur were pouring out of the castle and charging into the fray. They immediately ran to the canyon sides and began to push the yeti back.

Every moment Talon saw them ceding more and more territory, getting pushed back by the reinvigorated Noxian forces. He laughed to himself, enjoying the thinning numbers of the enemy. After a short time, the combined forces of the minotaur and the Noxians had the entire enemy number pinned against the wall of debris, leftover from the earlier explosions. Talon called down, his voice booming and echoing across the canyon.

“Halt the attack!” Immediately upon hearing his words, he saw his forces pull back slightly. The enemy, still contained, gathered together in a circle, holding their ground. They looked weary, and considerably smaller than when they had started. Talon guessed there couldn’t be more than a thousand of them combined. He smiled, then continued, “Yetis, ursine, you have fought valiantly today. Although you have come to invade our beautiful lands of Freljord, I must commend you on your display of fighting prowess. It would be a shame to see you fall here today, when you could be put to better use serving us. I ask you, please submit and join our cause.”

Talon let the words hang in the air, and gave the enemy time to consider. He knew that they would refuse, but even this moment of mercy would convince the Freljordians in his army that he truly wanted peace. It would make assimilating them even easier when the time came. He heard a roar come back that echoed down the canyon and a strong, deep voice rang out, “Enemy of Freljord, you will never earn our allegiance. We will fight you today to the last man… If we are eliminated here today, it will not go smoothly for you. We will inflict such a toll upon you that every man who lives through this day will be plagued by the memory of us. Stories in Noxus will tell of the ursine and yeti to frighten small children to sleep. We shall not yield!”

Talon was about to give an order to attack when something he did not understand happened. An enchanted ice arrow, the size of a human being came flying out from the ledge on top of the canyon. It struck in the middle of a group of minotaurs and exploded upon impact. Just then, a large group of humans began to appear at the top of the debris pile. At their front was Tryndamere, king of the barbarians, and Sejuani, leader of the Winter’s Claw. The two looked imposing in front of an army of barbarian warriors and Talon knew the battle had now begun in earnest.

Tryndamere let out a battle cry and the barbarians began to charge down the hill. He yelled to his own army and they pressed inwards, looking to finish them off. Talon smiled, knowing that regardless of the outcome, Freljord was finished.

Here you go, another day, another post. Unfortunately, this one is largely exposition, but we’ll back in the thick of things tomorrow. Sorry it’s another late post, but at least we’re still getting em out! Have a good one summoners!

-Tale Master

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Talon: The War for Freljord – 16

22 Jul

Talon sat in the throne. It was a little less opulent than his new throne in Noxus, but it would do for now. Preliminary reports had just come in from the frontlines that the ursine and yeti armies were approaching. These simple Freljordians had been so easy to manipulate. He had personally infiltrated the inner workings of the Freljordian capital a month ago. It had been perfect with all the chaos of different groups coming together under one banner. None of the high ranking officials knew their counterparts from other tribes, and he’d been able to slip in under the guise of an Ice Dervish at times and a barbarian at others. It had been the perfect cover in the chaos.

He had merely bided his time, having given Katarina the orders long ago on how to lead the Winter’s Claw armies. He spent his days getting closer with everyone that he could, mingling with the common folk and upper class alike. It had served him well until the day finally came when Ashe called her advisors into a group. Talon had managed to stay away from Ashe so far and was only called into the meeting by friends he had made with other advisors.

She had quickly explained that the king, Tryndamere had been taken and that she was leaving Freljord in their capable hands while she went to retrieve her husband. Talon had smiled, knowing it was his time. As soon as Ashe had left the castle he began to spread the rumor that she had abandoned her post and her people in this time of war. No matter how many high-ranking officials shot it down, the lie spread like wildfire and the people grew restless. Talon was already well aware of how to step in and assume power from his Noxian conquest. Doing it again was all too easy.

Within one week, he had effectively been crowned Steward of Freljord, ostensibly holding the throne until the true king and queen came back. Earlier that morning, Katarina had come with her Winter’s Claw and Noxian soldiers, causing Talon to declare an official statement. He had been in the midst of addressing the people, explaining his great victory in turning the Winter’s Claw to their side, when a trusted lieutenant came and delivered the news from the scouts about the marching armies. He had smiled momentarily, but managed to put on a shocked look before turning to the people gathered below.

From his balcony in the middle of the Freljordian castle his voiced boomed out powerfully, “People of Freljord, it has just come to my attention that an army is marching upon us. The ursine, the bear-like race from the north, have begun to march on us. They fear us, because they cannot understand us, and this fear has led to hatred. I have been trying to establish diplomatic ties with them, but unfortunately, I have not had enough time. The yetis to the east, have turned against us because the beloved Nunu was not happy with the way he had been treated by the king and queen.”

He paused, allowing himself to get slightly choked up, before pretending to bravely continue his speech. “I have failed you, and to compound the disaster, I must now ask something of you. We must stand together against this tyranny. I will not let our differences, be you Winter’s Claw, Ice Dervish or even part of the queen’s own tribe, get in our way. I ask you, people of Freljord, to stand together and fight this menace!” The crowd below began to cheer wildly and Talon knew he had hit the mark. He gave the signal to his generals below who quickly gained control of the people and began to segregate them into battalions.

He had disappeared back inside and made his way to the throne. As he sat there, he thought to himself, ‘Everything is going according to plan. By this time tomorrow, there will be no more Freljord. Noxus will have a firm grasp on the eastern half of Valoran, and I can bring the world to its knees.’ The Noxian dictator smiled again and dressed in his Crimson Elite armor. Gleaming, as if new, he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. His defenses around the capital were set. A roar echoed down the canyon and Talon chuckled softly, before saying to himself “The war for Freljord begins.”

So I’m still out of town, and thought I wasn’t going to have time to get one out today, but luckily for you guys I found it xD. I was planning on skipping this one altogether, but I actually really enjoyed how it came out, so I’m going to post it anyways (I do what I want, much like Mundo).

I enjoyed getting back to Talon and now you know what shenanigans he’s been up to since Crimson Elite concluded. Unfortunately, tomorrow, I will be driving back home and then I immediately have to go to work, so it will be a late post tomorrow, but fear not, for post I shall. Have a good one summoners.

-Tale Master

Vladimir: Crimson Elite – 15

3 Jul

Vlad felt uneasy as he reappeared in the castle. ‘Riven should not be out there alone!’ he thought. He looked towards Talon and said, “Who’s next?” The leader looked uncomfortable for a moment before saying, “Surely you get it by now Vlad. We need someone to blame for this ordeal. It’s all well and good that we succeeded, but surely the populace won’t accept this unless we have an enemy to present to them.” Vlad’s face remained blank, but inside he was seething. Talon continued on, nonplussed, “In this case, Riven is believable, and already there. Thanks to Katarina and Cassiopeia, everyone already believes that this whole sequence of events was accomplished thanks to Riven. This is the best possible thing for Noxus.” Vlad considered his words carefully before saying, “You’re no different. I thought I was fighting for a Noxus where things could be different, and instead you give me the same thing. You’re sacrificing loyal people to further your personal agenda. I’m leaving.” He turned away from his leader and began to walk back down the hallway towards the runes.

“Where will you go Vladimir? You know I can just as easily turn you in like I did Riven. Stay with us while you still have a chance.” Talon spoke these words beseechingly, and Vladimir was impressed with the depth of emotion he was capable of fabricating. “Talon, congratulations on your rule of Noxus. I warn you, if we meet again, it will not be as friends.” He turned and saw Katarina lifting a knife to throw at him, but he was already melting into the runes beneath him. The last thing he saw was Talon’s face, staring at him with an intensity that frightened Vlad. ‘Yes, Noxus has found a true ruler,’ he conceded. Upon appearing back inside the attic, he heard a shriek reverberate across the ground. He knew that would be Cassiopeia starting the attack and he hurried to the town square. He could hear war cries and death gasps in equal measure as he ran down the streets. He was pleased Riven wasn’t going without a fight.

As he rounded the corner and came within view of the square, he saw a peculiar sight. The fighting had stopped, and Riven was on one knee, balancing herself on a completed blade. He realized she had somehow managed to reforge her rune blade and was impressed; that was not an easy skill. Cassiopeia had writhed up in front of her and he saw Riven stagger to her feet. He began running towards her, wishing to help when he got close enough to hear “-you are beyond redemption.” With that he watching in awe as Riven lunged forward and managed to slice Cassiopeia’s body in half, just between the stomach and the chest. Her body slump to the side and Riven landed on her feet briefly. As she was falling down, Valdimir was crestfallen and hoped he was not too late. The soldiers, stunned at the death of their commander, stood there for a moment before a lieutenant shouted them forward at her. Vlad shouted, “Pitiful creatures. Leave now before you find your precious city in ruins!” A few hesitated, but did not run, so Vlad launched bloody projectiles at them, killing three men instantaneously. During this confusion as the Noxians backed away frightened, Vlad picked up Riven’s body, quickly created a set of blood runes on the ground and disappeared into the blood.

He had teleported them back to his temple home and he could only think of one thing to try. He could still feel her blood pulsing, but barely. The wounds at this point seemed both spiritual and physical, making this very difficult to heal. He rushed her down to the pools beneath his home and attempted a last gasp effort. He had never thought of this before, never having given a care to anyone but himself. He was going to try the same healing technique he used with blood for Riven. He placed her in the pool and concentrated on the blood. He could feel it pouring into her, revitalizing her injuries and wounds. He could feel her physically becoming healthier and knew it was working. After a few minutes in the blood he pulled her out and lay her down on the steps. She was breathing, although she had not yet awoken. He knew they could not stay here; Talon would be looking for them as quickly as he could. Unfortunately, he had no blood runes outside of Noxus, and had to carry her with him on foot.

He quickly set out, not wishing to be caught, and walked the rest of the night and all of the next day before collapsing in the woods. Now that he finally had time to sit and reflect, he gazed over at his companion. They were an unlikely pair, and it was the first taste of friendship Vladimir had ever really enjoyed. As a boy his fascination with blood made him an outcast, and Dmitri had always been more of father figure than a friend. This realization only served to make the hemomancer more determined to save her life. Unfortunately, he only knew of one living creature who could heal such deep scars.

At daybreak, Vladimir gathered up his courage and set off east towards the sea. He was headed to Ionia to get Riven the help she required. He would not rest until he found the healer. As he trudged on, weary, hungry and wanting to give up one word kept going through his head, pushing him on. ‘Starchild.’

Epilogue

Talon sat on his throne, considering how quickly the last month had flown by. He had made a mistake by letting Vladimir go, but since then he had acted flawlessly. With the entire country looking for the two fugitives, there was no chance of his involvement being leaked, which suited him well. Although Cassiopeia had died, there was talk that a combination of necromancy and techmaturgy may be able to save her, similar to Urgot. A grateful Katarina was the most dedicated second in command he could ever have asked for. He had pulled the Noxian troops out of Ionia, deciding instead to focus on training and preparation. This made the world think that they were safe, that the new leader was going to be a different breed from the previous administration.

Unfortunately for them, he had other plans. The Blade’s Shadow smiled, thinking to himself ‘Shortly, our plans for global domination will be set in motion. By the time they come into play, it will be too late to stop us. All will be united under the Noxian banner.’ With that, he stood up and began to walk towards the war room. He didn’t want to keep his new subjects waiting.

Talon: Crimson Elite – 13

1 Jul

Riven and Vladimir came walking in together, about an hour before they were scheduled to begin the operation. Normally this strange alliance would worry Talon, but he knew there was nothing to fear from Riven after her reaction to the food storage plant. Vladimir was more difficult to read. That mischievous grin was better than any poker face he could recall, but it appeared that the Crimson Reaper was happy here. His transformation had been startling, certainly, but it would only make him an even more powerful force for the Crimson Elite.  Talon welcomed them back, “Well, I believe it is time for everyone to don their armor yet again.” Riven and Talon took a few minutes to get ready. Vladimir had not taken his armor off yet and was leaning against the side of the cave wall with his eyes closed. He looked serene, and Talon assumed he was preparing for the coming night.

At sundown, Vladimir and Katarina disappeared, transporting to a small home located only minutes away from the Noxian headquarters. This house had belonged to a pair of degenerate gamblers Talon had killed years ago. He had continued to keep the house furnished for just such an occasion. While he was no stranger to blood, Talon disliked blood travel because he despised not being in control. It seemed as though he could slip away at any moment, becoming lost in the oblivion of blood, and this frightened him. He would never admit it, but one of the reasons he admired Vlad so much is that he did not have the constitution required to be a hemomancer.

Shortly after leaving Vladimir came back and took Riven. Talon was completely calm about the mission; he knew what it would take to succeed. Although this was certainly a higher degree of difficulty than anything he had faced before, he was confident in his skills and his lieutenants. The Exile had the most important job of the night, and he knew she would perform it admirably. She was not one for words or protesting, she was a woman of action. Talon had specifically recruited her for this night, for this purpose. He smiled as he thought about his master scheme coming into play. ‘Soon,’ he thought, ‘I will be ruler of Noxus. All in our land will bow to me, and then, all of Runeterra will be mine.’ His musings were soon interrupted by Vlad phasing back into the cave. “Are you ready, boss?” The mocking intonation was there, as always, but he was too useful for Talon to protest. “Take us away, Reaper.”

As he appeared in the house, he saw Riven standing off the side and let go of Vladimir’s arms. He smiled confidently to himself and said, “Let’s go.” They moved silently throughout the streets, their new armor built to move silently despite overlapping metal plates. The roads of Noxus were empty. Katarina’s guard had surely gone by, and no intelligent Noxian citizen wanted to be caught outside when a fully armored squad was out and looking for trouble. As they approached the headquarters Talon marveled at the building. The tall, black stone castle towered above its surroundings. ‘Soon,’ thought Talon. When the trio was a block away, Talon stopped them and they ducked into a small side alley. He signaled for them to wait and blended into the shadows. His new armor worked even better than his old cloak, and he couldn’t help but be pleased. When he was in charge, this blacksmith would be elevated to a noble’s status. He saw the two guards outside the entrance and decided to attack from above. He leapt onto the wall above them and quietly made his way behind them. He took out his tethered blades and struck downwards. The guards hit the ground, dead before they had moved a muscle.

He signaled over his shoulder to Riven and Vladimir who came running in. At that moment, a small group of guards came running out the large wooden doors in the front of the castle. Talon marveled at their awareness, more impressed with his country than ever before. Upon spotting them, the guards yelled “Intruders! Quickly, sound the alarms!” Before anything else could be said Riven dove forward and beheaded the man with one quick stroke. Vlad quickly dispatched the other two and Talon said, “Try not to kill more than you have to. These are men of Noxus and will be our guards shortly.” The two exchanged a look and then both nodded at him. While this closeness made him uncomfortable, now was not the time or place to deal with it.

The Crimson Elite pressed on, but stopped once they came to the main hall. Even though Katarina had managed to take around half of the guards with her to the town square, there were anywhere between fifty to seventy-five men in the room. Talon looked at Vladimir and said, “Crowds are your thing. Make it happen. Meet us upstairs as soon as you can.” Riven began to cut a bloody path through the middle with Talon following closely behind, slicing at anyone who got too close. The guards attempted to follow, but when the hemomancer reached the staircase he stopped. Vlad began to laugh deeply, the resonating booms capturing the attention of the room. This gave his two partners ample time to enter the staircase and proceed up. In the background, Talon could hear, “Which vessel shall I empty next?”

They proceeded up the next two floors with only a few guards here and there, but Riven dispatched all who dared to come near. By the time they were on the 4th floor, Talon was excited at how well his plan was working. “Let me take lead,” Talon said, and Riven left her sword trailing behind her, following Talon closely. As the two neared the ninth floor, the stairs cut off, forcing them to take a long hallway. Standing in their way, perfectly still, were two figures whose appearances could not have contrasted more. Darius, the Hand of Noxus stood on the right while his younger brother Draven was swinging back and forth on the left. Talon looked to Riven, who nodded and then charged at the pair, yelling as she swung her sword. Talon heard a clang as the two blades locked together. Without a second thought, Talon dove past the two brothers and up the stairs, leaving Riven to deal with their one-two punch.

‘Finally, I am at my goal,’ Talon thought. ‘Finally, this land world will know what true power is!’ He sprinted towards the ornate doors that made Boram Darkwill’s sleeping chambers and kicked them in with one blow. Darkwill, already dressed in his finest military attire, sat upon his throne and laughed. “So, it is you Talon. I should have expected as much. Katarina would not betray her father’s ward.” Talon merely smiled behind his helmet and said, “You’ll never know will you? You surely know you aren’t living through this night by now?” Darkwill responded hotly, “I wouldn’t be so sure of that, impudent pig!” At that moment Talon heard a collapse behind him and quickly glanced over his shoulder. There was a guard lying on the floor with a dagger squarely in the middle of his back, Katarina walking over towards him. Talon turned back to Darkwill, venom in his eyes and said, “If that is your best option, you deserve to die here tonight.” The Grand General of Noxus laughed maniacally and stated calmly, “You would murder a defenseless old man? Why don’t we settle this like men and duel?” Talon’s face was hidden by his faceplate, so there was a long moment of silence while Darkwill watched and waited before he said, “You’re on. You have thirty seconds to prepare.”

Darkwill immediately reached over the side of his throne to pick up and axe, but before he could complete the motion, Talon flung a Blade into his skull. He dropped to floor, dead on impact. Katarina looked shocked, but impressed. It took cold blood to be able to kill a man like that, and the Blade’s Shadow had just proved he had ice in his veins. Talon walked over to Darkwill’s corpse and tapped it with his foot. Satisfied that the ruler of Noxus was dead, he took off his helmet. Gazing down at the old man lying there, lifeless he couldn’t help but think that this fate was destined to be his someday as well. It was the price of ruling Noxus, and he would only be able to stop it by uniting the land under his forceful and effective rule. He looked over to Katarina and said, “May the Dynasty of the Crimson Elite long rule the land.”

Talon: Crimson Elite – 9

28 Jun

Talon almost felt guilty about lying to Riven like that. She would surely find out soon enough that she was not destroying a weapons manufacturing plant. ‘Well, this way I can discern her state of mind. If she comes back, I have a loyal soldier and lieutenant. If not, she did the job I needed her to and becomes inconsequential.’ Satisfied with this reasoning, Talon began to prepare for his own journey. Through various means, he had gathered intelligence stating that the Noxian push in Ionia had finally been stalled and that there was to be a League meeting to decide the final outcome. Surprisingly to the public, Katarina had not been chosen as part of the battle, despite being one of Noxus’ finest warriors. Talon had been able to ascertain the true reason she was indisposed. She was leading a group of Noxian assassins to execute two important Demacian diplomats on their way to Bandle City. The Yordle homeland and the Demacians had not been in good standing lately, and Noxus had a large interest in keeping it that way.

Talon was sure that Vladimir would succeed in his mission, and wished he had time to wait for his new armor. Unfortunately, Katarina had a day’s head start as well as a hefty lead distance-wise, so there was no time to waste. He left in a hurry and started towards the Mogron Pass in the Tempest Flat cliffs. He knew he had to beat Katarina and the traveling diplomats there, because once Katarina had finished the job there’d be no distractions for him to take advantage of. He made swift progress, and after two hard days progress, found himself at Mogron Pass. He immediately took stock of the area and debated his options. The Proving Grounds stood tall and majestic in front of him. The bridge was a relic of the rune wars; the summoners used to wage war atop the bridge when they needed to pass north to south, but these days it was used to train novice summoners for the league. It stood across a chasm and it’s terrain was impassable were it not for the amateur field of justice.

Assessing the surrounding area Talon decided he could make an ambush at the top of the area and would kill the Demacian representatives before Katarina even got there. He agreed with the Noxian high command that Demacia and Bandle City should not remedy their differences. Despite this, he knew that if he managed the feat first Katarina would be momentarily put off, and that would be his time to strike. He climbed the tower and reached the top, finding the perfect corner for his cloak to hide him in. The Demacian representatives were not far behind and after less than an hour, Talon was poised, ready to strike. The delegation passed and with a flourish of his cloak the Blade’s Shadow was able to decapitate half the guard, disembowel two others and had the two ambassadors at his disposal. The begged for mercy, but Talon merely smiled and said cruelly, “Not today ambassadors”.

He cleaned off his blades and prepared for the arrival of the Noxian delegation. He hid in the corner near the door, hiding himself under the cloak again. Katarina arrived in less than two minutes, a small contingent of Noxian soldiers following her. Talon listened carefully and determined by the footsteps that she had only brought a group of three with her. He had every tactical advantage possible, for he knew exactly the way they were trained, while they had no clue he was there. Katarina immediately stopped and studied her surroundings. She was intelligent and knew that the Demacians had not fallen to phantom blades in the night. Talon saw the suspicion on her face and waited for his moment. She walked slowly onto the bridge, head on a swivel. She was waiting for an attack that wouldn’t come, and finally, satisfied that whatever had attacked the contingent was gone, she went to check on the downed party in front of her. As she was kneeling to check the pulse of the diplomats, Talon made his move. Before the assassins even saw him move, he was behind one, slitting his throat.

The other two looked at their falling comrade and that one moment of distraction was all Talon needed. Before they could so much as bring out their weapons to defend themselves, blades had been plunged deep into their backs, and they slumped forward. Katarina turned and looked at Talon. He saw the fear in her eyes for a moment before she quickly regained composure and said, “Talon, why bother coming for these two? You obviously knew Noxus was sending me to do the same job.” She seemed more curious now, knowing he would give her the professional courtesy not to kill her with cheap tricks. “Well Katarina, that is just something you and I will discuss in fifteen seconds when I have my blade to your throat. Then I will be ready to talk.” Katarina looked incensed and quicker than eyes could follow she had unsheathed the knives lining her legs and threw them at the rogue assassin. Talon was already dodging underneath and sliding towards her on his knees. This was a dangerous battleground, for on this narrow bridge there was not much room to move, let alone dodge, but Talon had earned his deadly reputation for a reason.

He flung his tethered blades and her, forcing her to dive backwards to avoid them, but saw her land on the balls of her feet, ready to spring forward. He smiled, knowing he had read her perfectly and waited. She dove at him, almost appearing to teleport, turning in midair to strike him. Unfortunately for the woman of Noxus, Talon was familiar with her technique and used the side wall of the bridge to end up behind her. He held his blade to her neck and pressed down lightly. The hours he had spent painstakingly sharpening his tools showed as a dribble of blood began to slide down Katarina’s neck, and Talon smiled. “Now, as I said, we are in the position I like to negotiate from.” He did not bother holding down her arms, knowing as well as she did that if she moved a muscle her head would be rolling on the floor.

“What do you want, traitor?” Katarina hissed. “Traitor? That seems a little harsh considering my aims. You knew your father better than anyone, and all I’m doing is continuing his work with a little more vigor.” Katarina considered, but remained silent, no doubt cognizant of the dangers disagreeing might bring. “I am not aiming to bring down Noxus, nor change any of its ideals. My only goal is to have a change of leadership; with myself at the helm of course.” Katarina scoffed, “And what makes you think you’re entitled to lead? You think you can do a better job than Boram Darkwill?” Talon paused for effect, “I believe I will do better because I would put an end to the endless Noxian squabbling for power. We would already rule this land if we could put an end to this endless infighting!”

“Your father wanted a united Noxus, one that would fight external threats rather than internal ones. His goal was to use me to bring about this new age of power, but unfortunately Darkwill caught wind of it and eliminated him first.” Katarina narrowed her eyes and said, “How do you know that?” “I witnessed it with my own eyes. He brought in a full execution team to deal with the two of us, and while I was fighting off the guards, Darkwill ganged up on him and slew him with his own blade.” Katarina gasped and her eyes grew empty as she pictured her father’s death at the hands of her fellow Noxians. Talon had no idea what the true circumstances behind her father’s death were, but he was pleased that his story had its intended effect. She took a moment to compose herself before finally saying, “I have long agreed with the philosophy you’re explaining Talon. With your combat skill and obvious political talent, I believe you may be the one to unite us at last. Consider me and my skills at your disposal…” She hesitated, “Brother.”

Talon: Crimson Elite – 5

25 Jun

“She has just run away from the tavern on the southern outskirts of Noxus. My guess is she will find her way to your area soon enough. She’s a curious type, so give her something to follow.” The man in the dark cloak relayed these instructions to the regal looking man, who nodded and disappeared moments later, as though he had vanished. ‘Well, nothing to do now but set up for her arrival.’ Talon was apprehensive about something, but couldn’t be sure what. He sat down heavily in his chair at the end of the table in their meeting hall. He had faith that Vladimir would accomplish his goal, he had a disarming charisma that worked even after you knew what he was. No, he wasn’t worried about that, but alarm bells were ringing in his head regardless. He pushed them aside for now and brooded over the events of the past several weeks. His thoughts turned to the Crimson Elite’s founding.

She had found Talon shortly after the death of her father and they had many a long conversation about the current state of affairs in Noxus. The assassin was delighted that his serpentine “sister” was receptive to his views on how things should be changing. His allegiance was to her father, not to Noxus, he had said. She had wholeheartedly agreed and become a sort of confidant for Talon. Vladimir had been the first one the two had sought out. He had been easy to find and even easier to convince. While he wanted to upend the power in Noxus in favor of eventual anarchy, their goals remained the same for now, and he was a valuable ally to have in the meantime. Next they had attempted to go after Draven, the Glorious Executioner, but after mere pleasantries were exchanged, Talon had changed his mind. He had no desire for the showboating lunatic to join his squad, and his brother Darius was too close to General Swain to be persuaded. The last figure they attempted to recruit had been Katarina, but on that occasion Cassiopeia had come back wounded in several places. She refused to comment on what had happened other than a quick and decisive, “No.”

So it had been that one of the last real candidates for joining this team was commander Riven. Talon figured he would have no trouble convincing her, as she was a beloved Noxian figure recently betrayed by the corrupt rulers. She had proved more difficult than he had hoped, but her prowess in battle was more than worth the effort. Talon himself wanted the change because he had acquired a taste of power… and liked it. He wished to attain more, and as many before him, he was finding the hardest part to be finding reliable allies. He sat there contemplating all of this, planning to talk to Riven face to face and make her see reason. He was sure that she would be convinced by the end of the day, but was not enjoying the waiting.

To attempt to put his mind at ease, he left the meeting hall and walked down the entrance chamber to the store room on the left. The hall was located in the back of a local blacksmith, so there were all kinds of metals and materials stored back here. He went to the back corner and searched for the box with his new armor in it. He had paid the blacksmith a fortune to both use the back areas of the shop for his purposes, and to fit his members with brilliant new armor. The bases of the armors were to be black diamond plates that fit together perfectly. It was so well crafted that when talon had tried his on for the first time, it was as if he was wearing his normal assassin’s garb, designed to be silent. He was impressed with the job the blacksmith had done, and had just found the box when he heard voices.

He quickly stowed the box away inconspicuously and then melted into the shadows, wishing to overhear without being seen. The voices were hushed, whispering back and forth and Talon unhappy with what he was hearing. “If he finds you here-“ “He won’t until it’s too late. Now, what time are the other two getting here?” “They’re supposed to be here at noon, so we only need wait another thirty minutes.” Talon knew the serpent woman was betraying him and he found himself unsurprised. She had played her part to perfection if she truly sided with her sister; she probably even received the wounds at their “meeting” willingly. ‘No matter,’ Talon thought. ‘While this does complicate things, Vladimir knows to meet me in my hideout in the Ironspike Mountains.’ Despite this, he knew that he had to do something, or Vlad and, hopefully following him, Riven would be walking straight into a trap. He steeled himself and began to walk back towards the meeting hall.

Upon getting inside he called over Cassiopeia to ask her to examine something. She slithered in, looking perfectly calm, and Talon was again impressed with how well she had played her part. She betrayed no hint of anxiety despite preparing to backstab him imminently. As she glided up next to him, Talon pulled out his wrist blade and slashed towards her throat. The serpent ducked under the first blow and before Talon could react, her sister had appeared behind her throwing knives too quickly for the eye to follow. He immediately dove to the side and found refuge behind the large oak chairs in the room. Although the two on one was not ideal with such deadly opponents, the Blade’s Shadow was not yet concerned that he couldn’t handle it. He blended with the shadows again and charged at the sisters. He let fly three tethered daggers that went towards the pair, but Katarina blocked one with her knives and pirouetted away from the others. Cassiopeia meanwhile decided to get down the ground like the snake she was and launched acid at him from her forked tongue.

Talon wasn’t surprised at the maneuver and dove backwards onto the table. Just as he landed he heard a grunt behind him and was surprised to see Darius sprinting towards him. The Hand of Noxus raised his giant axe, looked to cleave Talon in two and it came crashing down on the middle of the table. Talon was able to use an old technique that had him dive towards the giant man and spin around behind him, attempting to slit his throat in the process. Unfortunately, he only managed to graze his shoulder pauldron and the giant table split in two from the force of the axe swing. Talon quickly assessed his options and knew he couldn’t last long three against one. He saw the flag hanging over the fireplace and made his decision. He dashed to the wall it was hanging on and vaulted himself up. Grabbing the flag, he hit the ground running and threw it as a cover over Darius. The big man’s swing was interrupted just enough to miss hooking Talon in and the assassin turned his attention to escaping. He flung the blades on the end of his cloak over to Katarina, forcing her to block it while flinging his knives at Cassiopeia at the same time. This caused him just enough of a diversion to dive past them and come up in a roll.

He sprinted down the hall, burst through the storeroom and knew he was leaving his brand new armor behind. Talon lamented the loss of his investment, but was more worried that he would have no one left on his side in the revolution. The Blade’s Shadow forced the negative thoughts out of his head and began to focus on survival. He was glad he had shown the sense to give each Elite a different meeting place; a precaution he had made for just this occasion. As he headed toward his new staging area for rebellion, he thought bitterly, ‘The Noxian high command have just upped the ante. Eventually, my blades will find their way into their hearts.’

Talon: Crimson Elite – 2

23 Jun

Talon wasn’t surprised about the news he had just received. In fact, he would have been slightly disappointed had the bar fight gone differently. None of this, however, would stop him from punishing failures. The soldier that had survived the bar fight with Riven fell to his knees, frantically clutching his throat. Blood gushed around his pathetically clawing hands, but nothing short of the Starchild’s wish would save him now. Despite the sickening squelching noise his former comrade was making, Talon’s face was passive, slightly hidden in the shadows of the fire. His mind was going over hundreds of scenario’s, trying to divine the best course of action. He was standing in a meeting hall that had been serving as his base of operation, with a long rectangular table filling the middle of the room, the fire crackling merrily behind the chair at the end.

The assassin was debating to himself what his next move should be, knowing full well that his cause would be strengthened with Riven joining his ranks. The Crimson Elite’s emblem was hanging from a banner above the fireplace and lent an almost cozy air to the otherwise sparsely populated room. Talon paced the halls, recalling the time he had spent so recently shadowing the young warrior. She hadn’t seen him on the cargo ship she’d stowed away on, headed back to the main continent, hadn’t been looking for anyone following. He attributed this to witnessing the death of her entire squad at the hands of her own country’s orders. It had been a decisive victory, yet Riven had an almost Demacian sense of justice and honor, somewhat contradictory to her Noxian upbringing. She hadn’t been able to bear the fact that she was an accomplice in such an extreme action (even though she hadn’t been complicit). Talon, in his dark cloak that seemed the exact color of the night, had observed her brooding for three days before deciding how best to make his move.

Talon spotted Riven hanging over the edge of the boat, watching the waves go by. The voyage was a mere ten miles from shore, when he decided to approach her. “Commander Riven, though you don’t know me, I have watched your exploits from afar. I am very impressed with what I have seen.” Though she jumped slightly upon hearing him speak, she quickly recovered and began to eye him warily. As soon as she realized she was not alone, her hand had never strayed more than an inch from her large, completed runic blade. “I know what you have just been through,” Talon continued, undaunted by the lack of response, “and I think that is exactly what’s wrong with this country of ours. We fight amongst each other, completely ignoring the outside threats we have all around us, Demacia, Freljord, Ionia.” At this, Riven looked incensed and said heatedly, “You know nothing of these cultures, and neither do I. I don’t even know what to think about our home anymore, given the events of the past few days.” She paused, narrowed her eyes into slits, and hissed through clenched teeth, “and you assume too much, Blade’s Shadow. I know you well. You’re Du Couteau’s lap dog, and I will not be eliminated so easily.”

With a lightning quick movement, she grabbed a double-handed grip on her sword and swung upwards at Talon. Caught slightly by surprise, he dodged backwards somewhat clumsily and was forced to kick himself off the wall. He decided in mid air to use this to his advantage and lunged at her jugular with his hidden wrist blade. Her face betrayed her shock for only a second before she began to duck and tumble backwards, catching talon across the middle with her heel. She flung him over her head, hopeful that he would fly over the rails into the deadly ocean. Deftly, Talon had managed to grab the ledge and swing himself back up, a snap kick catching her square in the thigh as she stood up. She yelled in anguish and jerked her sword at the Noxian assassin, who danced back out of range. With her leg injured like it was, she must have seen that escape was her best option and she looked over the edge and flung herself into the churning waters below. Despite this apparent defeat, the Blade’s Shadow was even more determined to bring this talented warrior into his midst, and he stared at the wake caused by the boat for several minutes more, hoping for some sign of the wayward exile.

Talon’s recollections were stopped by a seductive, playful voice coming to him from across the hall. He looked up and recognized Cassiopeia, the Medusa-like creature, slithering towards him. The hideous, yet somehow still alluring, daughter of Du Couteau asked mockingly, “What should we do now, Little Brother?” Her high pitchedd cackle echoed around the hall. He knew she only called him Little Brother to gall him, as many considered him to be Du Couteau’s ward. “Well, scourge of men, we’ll need a few more recruits before we’ll be able to start our little revolution, and Riven would be a prize catch. Let’s see if we can’t coax her into joining our cause. I’ll need time to form a plan.” Privately, he thought, ‘she’s a stubborn girl, if she had only let me finish speaking with her, she’d realize that we share a common goal. No matter, I will convince her soon enough.’

With that, Talon stalked out of the room leaving Cassiopeia the delight of disposing of the soldier’s rapidly cooling corpse.